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What’s your favourite seat at the cinema, and why?

Anybody that goes to the cinema regularly will undoubtedly become a creature of habit. Whether it’s getting there just in time to miss the repetitive adverts or film-spoiling trailers, buying / bringing your favourite snack (must be a silent one), hogging your ideal parking place, hitting on unsuspecting student staff, sitting in your favourite block, row; or more specifically – that perfect seat. Even the finest critic in the country has his favourite seat, which reassures me somewhat. Here’s where my one is and why I love it.

Position: smack-bang in the middle of the back row, of the flat front section, and here’s why…

  • The high seat back blocks out most sounds from the tiered section behind, where everyone else is sitting. There’s also an aisle-length gap between you and the nearest person behind. Bliss.
  • There’s never anyone in front of you – unless the screen is unusually busy. This eliminates fidget, hat, afro, giant and mobile phone based distractions in view.
  • The screen looks enormous, like it should! What’s the point in sitting in the back row (unless you’re with a hussy!) where the screen takes up the same percentage in your field of vision as your TV would at home?!?! This is the cinema, it’s supposed to be massive!
  • You’re right next to the chest-thumping bass speakers underneath the screen, and the Dolby/THX sound design is optimized, coming from the front, sides and behind your seat. Meanwhile the hussy in the back row is only getting stereo sound.
  • As all other seats in this block are generally empty, essential toilet breaking is swift and effective, and you avoid the embarrassment of accidental lapdancing.
  • You don’t notice when the anti-piracy staff come in and do their rounds with the night-vision goggles – this always distracts and angers me more than it should – install a camera on the roof!
  • When the film ends, you’re right next to the doors and don’t have to wait for the token slow-mos to begin their epic descent from row J – swiftest exit in the screen.
  • Every wrinkle, hair, eyelash, scar, mole, shadow, surface, texture, button, background, minute detail is there… cinema screen resolution this close is absolutely unbeatable.

The only time this location doesn’t work is for 3D (it’s best to be in the middle of the screen’s height) and the only possible downside with my favourite seat is that people with bad necks or eyes may struggle to last the duration.

Feels like I’ve just given away a trade secret… which leaves me wondering, does anyone else have a preference when it comes to seating in the cinema, or is it just me being a total weirdo?! Feel free to comment, or ping back your own post.

/Paul

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Tree of life:  I’m never normally bothered by how arty or pretentious a film gets – if anything, it usually makes a film at least a little interesting… Despite this my cinema buddy and I endured around 30 minutes in to this before we realised that there was nothing on the screen that could hold down the film and tie together all of the random imagery that we were seeing. Entire segments featuring dinosaurs, stellar galaxies, wildlife, nature, scenery… for what purpose? Could someone please explain this to me? The Tree of Life takes the idea of a ‘narrative’ and clubs it in the face until all that’s left is a few recurring characters at 20 minute intervals. Non-linear storytelling can also be awesome, but if you could find the story in this, you’re a better man than I.

Despite being hooked in by Pitt and Penn, we realised there was around another 1 hour 50 minutes (total runtime of 140 minutes) – this was definitely a case of Tree of Life 1, Paragraph Film Reviews 0.

Alternative plans – 2 bonus hours of Call of Duty: Black ops.

Because of my awesome unlimited cinema card with Cineworld, infinite online streaming with Love Film and more generally having a massive DVD/BD collection I’m getting to the point where I’ll be damned to sit through an entire film that I’m not enjoying and waste another 60 / 90 / 120 minutes of my life. As the years go on the tolerance level seems to be decreasing rapidly, so much so that it’s now worthy of it’s own feature and category.

For these films I’ll tell you how long I lasted, why the film wasn’t doing it for me, and what the alternative plans were – plans that were much better than watching the film – at least at the time…